As a game dev, I can't help but analyze every game I come across and notice good examples of game design. King Kaliente from Super Mario Galaxy is one such examples, here's why.
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Nintendo's Game Development Process
In every Nintendo game, the developers come up with a key mechanic that becomes the core of the game. For this game, it's the spin move. The spin move is multi-purpose. Need a little boost in your jump? Want to knock out enemies? Want to grab a shell *just* out of reach? The spin move has got you covered.
With all bosses, you fight all of them twice using mechanics you learn throughout the level/planet. In King Kaliente's first iteration, you land on a primary planet and then planet hop to a bunch of smaller planets. On one of these smaller planets, there are a bunch of spiky plants and coconuts. Mario can walk up to the coconuts and kick them. There seems to be no way off this small planet. Not sure what else to do, the player spins the coconut. It hits a spiky plant. The plant is destroyed, leaving a coin. I'm sure you get the idea. Later, in the actual boss battle, Mario finds himself on a lava planet. There are safe spots to stand of course.
Enter King Kaliente the large lava octopus.
He doesn't like that you are on his planet. He starts spitting out rounds of coconuts and fireballs. Much like on the small planet the player must use the spin attack on the coconuts but dodge the fireballs. Like most Mario bosses, King Kaliente has three stages for the player to beat. In King Kaliente's second boss battle, he is back bigger and better than ever. This time there are floor tiles to stand on which sink as you stand on them so you have to keep moving. That and there are meteors now raining from the heavens. Just like before, Mario must avoid the fireballs and spin attack the coconuts to beat him.
So why do you like King Kaliente as a boss?
The primary reason why I love King Kaliente is the way his battles incorporate the core mechanic so nicely. You have to spin in order to beat him. It requires a bit of multitasking since the coconuts aren't thrown directly at you most of the time. Sometimes they are in the air. Sometimes, they are thrown at a curve. That and there are small blue fire enemies that rise up and hurt you if you touch them. On top of these two reasons, I think the levels are immensely fun to play and I feel satisfied every time I beat him. His battles weren't the hardest levels but he isn't a high tiered boss.
Thank you for reading about my favorite Mario boss. What's your favorite boss battle? Comment below! If you liked this consider subscribing to my mailing list. I'll see you in the next post!